Wednesday, 12 January 2005
Internet Meteorology: Increasing efficiency with cost-effective approaches
A cost-effective, easy-to-implement methodology has been developed by the author using existing software packages to download, manipulate, and display large amounts of weather imagery and text data from the internet. The software and methodology described in this paper was first employed out of necessity, and later transported to the Joint Agricultural Weather Facility (JAWF) where it is used by staff of both the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As a result, JAWF meteorologists are afforded more time to analyze weather data for the United States and international areas of responsibility; previously, considerable time and effort was expended merely acquiring weather information. The three-pronged approach includes: (1) batch downloading, (2) manipulating and enhancing imagery using interactive menus and batch scripts, and (3) saving and displaying post-processed data. This paper will discuss the evolution of this approach, its current uses, and future plans; in addition, the author hopes to provide the reader with the means to implement any or all parts of this methodology on their own.